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tv   [untitled]    May 12, 2012 8:30am-9:00am PDT

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intersections. we found in 2015, there were three significant an unavoidable impact. however, there are a similar number of impacts operating at a lower level, so the project isn't having any additional intersections operating. in 2035, due to be significant background growth, things like the hospital in this area and city-wide, we know we need to look at significant changes to help people get in and around the city. but due to the regulations, we cannot anticipate what those will be. the system is operating close to the brink of what we project for background growth. there are between six and eight sections that would operate in
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2035 but we would like to start thinking about how we can change on a larger scale the way people move in and through the city. there are concerns from people living on the street parallel to van ness ave. even if it is not operational yet issue, there may be an increase in traffic on the side streets and we know we want to start planning for what a potential offsets, pedestrian prove mens and those sorts of things to offset any increase in traffic along the streets. there are couple of other key areas of interest we have heard -- the draft environmental document selection -- one is the removal of left turns and how that may impact versions and circulation. transit stop consolidation -- going from 15 north on stops and 14 north on stops, i removal of
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six stops in each direction so it averages in -- averages every three blocks. so if you are in the middle, it's about a two and half block walk. we tried to stick with key crosswalk locations said it would be minimal walking for transfers. we tried to account for the grade of the street. parking lots, this project will maintain most of the parking. sunblocks may have more removal let others. -- some blocks may have more removal than others. the final thing we have heard is a visual impact. particularly around the trees and landscaping. there will be some trees removed in the center option -- alternative three removes all the trees. under alternative to, some of the sidewalk trees would be removed, but we anticipate having median and sidewalk space
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to replace the trees in other locations. we have done a significant amount of outreach and have been to a number of community groups and commissions and even during this current stage, we're going to more than 10 stakeholder groups who are in from the today. we've got a lot of feedback and that was a key component to how we selected the recommended alternatives. that was combined with -- we look at a different categories of performance indicators. all performance indicators in each of the categories -- when we worked with the planning department to define those, i realized all performance indicators are created equal. some people are emphasizing
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performance indicators more than others. we have a project committee the planning department staff is on as well and we said you have about 100 points to divide how you choose among those eight different categories. where are your priorities and how the rate them? this chart shows all three of the group's emphasize transit performance and that's where we saw people landing. if we are doing the project, the whole point is to improve reliability and transit travel time. as the whole reason that you can see passenger experiences must but the restaurant less than half the amount of the transit -- one of the two cetera alternatives meet the need, showing a stronger liability in transit travel time benefit. design option b that limits the left-hand turns shows twice as much trouble time and
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reliability benefits. people turning right across the lane corporal parking need to use the light and that erode some of the benefits and allows for violation of the trend line. public comments indicated a preference of alternatives was almost three to one in favor of one of the two center running alternatives. the public understands why the center running alternative would perform better. unfortunately, there are challenges with the center-ready alternatives. alternative three has a head on configuration. we may be to widen blade which would reduce the media and from what they were or take out parking. you would need to remove all the trees along the corridor and by the transit running over that, there's a potential utility issue and construction risk. hot alternative for comes down to the left-right door vehicles.
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we aren't talking about one smaller fleet of specialized vehicles but to smaller specialized fleets. there is no 5 door truly coveted existence in north america. there is a diesel hybrid likely to be used in the east bay, but we saw that as a procurement risk and reliability risk that you can't just put any bus out there if you can't get them and -- if you can't get them maintained. we have put our heads together and said let's find a way to mitigate the risks and what we came up with is this that you see on the screen here. it will operate at flank speed gm's outside and as the buses come toward the station location, it will transition toward the center at the
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stations which allow for loading and unloading from the right side of the buses will transition back to the outside. is everyone following how that would work? because of the limited left turns come we're selecting the design option that would allow for just one left turn in each direction. it has traffic and transit benefits. but bit scores of first or second in six of the eight criteria. we have to further refine the designs to know for sure by it will have the best reliability benefit. it will be able to get outside the other bus which is a drawback to alternative three.
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it maintains much of the center median so we will do everything we can to maintain the median and allow for the planting opportunities. it has a consistent design which we have heard from the accessibility community. the stations closer to the east side are going northbound and those on the west honor going southbound fasso it is very logical. we have never find the cost estimates yet. we're just -- we know the vehicle cost will go down and we are waiting to see what the infrastructure costs will be. the alternative will fall within the environmental bookends of what we cleared in the draft. we're not anticipating recirculating that document. we have not done their refined cost estimate. we think it's going to be closer than alternative no. 2,
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but we have $100 million in identified funding. $75 million of the from small part -- from small starts. we are in a very good spot already for the project. that developer agreements, hopefully projects will be contributing as well and we anticipate being able to close the funding gap. the next steps -- we're doing significant that reached to stakeholders talking about this locally preferred alternative. the authority plant and program committee will review this item as an action item next tuesday. the mta board will be reviewing this as an action. to included in the fire -- the final environmental document and it will be a selection of the
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design for further design of the implementation that we will certify a gamble final document and the fall and issue a record of decision. at that time, we anticipate coming back to the planning commission for a referral and if the amendments are needed, we would bring that to you after the certification of the environmental document. the goal is to continue design now that we have the endorsement of the board and get started. under a good scenario, we would be and construction for 2015 in time for 2016. with that, i will open up for questions. president fong: we will open up to public comment first.
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>> i was on the citizens' advisory board because i understand there are technical requirements and how this is presented, but i think that makes it foggy to exactly what we are talking about. van ness is about 2 miles long. it takes a medium trip of about 50 minutes. we're talking about spending $100 million to save one-third of the time, four or five minutes. in terms of reliability, and i've lived in san francisco for over 30 years and taken the bus, what we're talking about is waiting an extra four minutes. i want you to keep in that context. i look back at the history of this concept and according to my research, it started in brazil and works best in the city's
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that are dilapidated and have a long commute time. it worked well in detroit and cleveland. frankly, i don't see it working well on that bus in san francisco. cost when you think about the amount of money involved, for $20 million or $30 million, we could utilize all the efficiency members -- we could time the lighting and have your bus stops and expedited fare collection and easier boarding. if you want to go further, promoting parking during peak rush hours -- during peak rush hours, the big traffic is from california street south and he could restrict prohibited parking to that. the hope we did talk about this of the citizens advisory committee but we did not been heavily talk about the funding
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and the other alternatives and the right lane alternative, all of which would remove a laid off from their nests. we should keep six late, save $70 billion or $80 million and do all of these other steps keeping the six lanes and when you are talking about a five minute savings in commute time and reliability, it would seem to be the city could do other things with the money. i would also like to mention since i have read buses for over 30 years, nobody seems to talk too much about problem of trucks and cars double parking which is very hard to enforce them to get on and so you are talking about a one late alternative at times. thank you. cost>> i claim no expertise on s
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subject but the people i know who are critics of this approach say brt is an effort to be rapid transit on the cheap that it doesn't do very well and is expensive and we should consider incremental improvements which is more like some of what i heard. my own concerns are as you know, i care about the van ness plan and it was to beautify the street as much as you could on a major highway and have the media and hopefully heavily planted, which it is not now. this is the option they are choosing wipes out.
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the issue of driving traffic on to the side streets, as i recall, the interception was supposed to be gridlock. maybe i'm wrong, but that's what i recall. now we're going to throw more traffic off on their. somebody needs to consider these things. when i was a kid growing up here, there was total gridlock and they had to build under the street. are we going to have to do that over here? the main issue i am kind of an expert in has to do the people who are disabled and elderly. the principal thing that makes a living at home and being independent possible is whether or not there is public transit that's easy and accessible to use.
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they plan to eliminate lots of bus stops. the gentleman said if there are five blocks apart, it's only two and a half blocks to walk away. easy for him. it's also a few blocks to go from that nest to your home. it's fine to have some express buses but they eliminated bus stops on the locals and my friend with a walker use to take the bus -- when the mason stopped was gone, she had to take the taxi every time and people can't all do that. this is a huge issue and it's going to become a huge community issue, the eliminating of the bus stops. somebody was waiting to hours for the paratransit that didn't show up. that's a common issue.
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san francisco has a wonderful ability to get people out -- [tone] president fong: thank you very much. >> what disturbs me about this is the cac voted on three plants and a fourth plan was decided without the citizens' advisory committee. behathat disturbs me, but what disturbs me more is what this lady just said -- some days i can walk and some days i can't. it depends on the day. always a crapshoot. i don't think senior citizens were thought about in this plan. i'm also extraordinarily concerned about franklin's and
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lombard. we've got those issues coming up master plan committee and i don't think this i plan had been presented to the public with the right public input. that the serbs may in the united states of america -- that disturbs me in the united states america. president fong: is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner antonini: interesting comments -- the one person who said there were 15 in a bus rides on van ness, that's assuming the buses there when you first get to the stop and if you're really lucky, it's 15
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minutes. i think it's a lot longer in heavy traffic. in fact, there are times when the buses don't run as often and i can walk the 2 miles quicker than the bus can get me there. part of it is that congested is really bad on that ness that we have to eliminate that. i think this is a good plan. i would think that ultimately a subway would be the way to go. we don't have the money but other dense cities like new york and others have created some ways had you can't put two things in the same space. if you put the dedicated plains, you will eliminate something else. it's a good plan trying not to do that but a few comments and questions. this would assume that with this in place you will get rid of the other buses on van ness or the buses will run strictly in the
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center lanes, correct? >> that is correct. 47 and 49 would become the vehicles and continue on their normal routes. the golden gate transit buses would also operate in the center. >> good. >> the 19 would still stay on its local route, one block over. >>commissioner antonini: some of the concerns about their being more stops -- people who don't want to go or are unable to go to or three blocks could take the local on franklin if a local was run there. van ness should be expressed. when you say no left turn lanes -- are they going to be eliminated entirely? >> they would be eliminated entirely. if you're between lombard admission headed southbound,
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you're only left turn opportunity would be broadway. northbound, there be no left turn between mission at lombard street. >> that makes sense. you get used to it on mission street. you get used to it on 19th avenue. you know that's what you've got and you have to anticipate and that's the price you pay for moving quicker along that s which driving is more than 15 minutes. >> just a follow-up to that point -- we are anticipating some of the through traffic currently using franklin will come back to van ness avenue, where it probably should be, since it is the main throughout. delocalize traffic would switch from venice to some of the other streets. that i think that definitely could happen. when you say no lectern's, that includes cabs and unique and everybody?
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>> that is a good point. transit will still be able to turn on to golden gate ave. they come southbound and turn left. we would have a dedicated trances signaled. -- transit signal. in general, your assumption is correct. >> all you need is a couple of vehicles blocking the lane, and the whole thing backs up. then, i think it will be all level boarding these raised platforms that would not allow other vehicles. is that correct? >> that is correct. they are 10 or 12 inches off the ground, and that lines up closely with the floor of the new buses, the idea is it is perfectly level boarding. there may need to be a bridge play to help assist, but the goal is to be able to walk across or roll across on to the bus.
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>> overhead contact systems were wired on the sidelines, and a little but in the system, so this would move the whole system to the street. the 47 would be a diesel hybrid. >> it sounds like this would be convertible to rail in the future, if at such time that was felt to be more expeditious. you could put the rails in and have a connector with the rest of your muni metro system. >> and yuri -- kiri -- geary has a charge said it needs to be real ready. dealing with in this things will not actually be rail ready, and add to would be a more significant conversion.
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>> four looked pretty good. i guess the only problems there were that you were not able to run some of the non-electrified buses because of the doors they had. the door loading was difficult? >> yes, basically, there are not a lot of 5-store vehicles in existence, particularly for the electric buses. -- 5-door vehicles, particularly for the electric buses. we saw that as a key procurement risk. in particular, the diesel hybrid buses, there are five-door vehicles. if it was just that, it might have been a different conversation, but for this stage in time, it was just too big of a challenge. >> ideally, that is probably
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your best solution. it is something to think about because of a lot of your light rail boarding is usually one platform in the middle. you know, although there are some in subway situations, that probably would be the -- as far as the concern about having medians with trees and planting, maybe that might have to move more to the sidewalks and less in the media and if you have a problem with space, which we do. that might have to be something that would be sacrificed or minimalize. i think your option you are moving on now is a good one, but i would look at the again if at all possible and see if there is a way to make it work. the idea again on totally electrified, we should get rid of diesel whenever possible because we are trying to be as energy safe as we can, and
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having the electrified situation and the advantages we have where we have our own power to do that, we should certainly convert some of these other lines to electrify some of the ones that go off into more distant routes and have to go along a non-electric crowd. those are some thoughts i had. commissioner borden: a want to thank you for your nice words, and it is fun to see it come this far. in 2003, when we were working on the expenditure plan committee, it seemed like a far notion, and it has been talked about for quite some time. it is great to see we are finally in a place where we can make some decisions and move forward. i think the innovative approach of taking the alternative and coming up with an alternate solution -- it sounds like a great one. i do not know what is going on with the cac. i guess we should make sure they get the presentation on what
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your talking about and they can provide feedback. i believe in order to achieve efficiency -- one of the challenges we all know is there are too many stops. did you look at phil's and slopes and disability access when you chose those particular spot to keep compared to those you eliminated? >> we did look at a number of different factors. the most important factors were ridership and crossing let's to eliminate walking for people most using the system. as you mentioned, it is a really tough balance. everybody wants their bus to move faster, and nobody wants to move their stock, so we tried to pick the key stops and where there were key transfers so people would have the least amount of walking possible for the majority of riders. also, to follow-up on the cac question, we presented to the
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van ness brt cac, and they did vote to recommend the alternative. >> i think what is really exciting about this, nine times out of 10, when there is a traffic back up, it is a bus that is not in its bus lane, in the middle of the traffic lane, and people are trying to get around the bus. being able to clear that up will help tremendously. i have taken the van ness buses many times over the years for many reasons. sometimes it is a commute to work. it was davis. some time he did make it in seven minutes and sometimes in 20. when you talk about transit reliability, while we are looking at a snapshot of van
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ness avenue, we also have to remember that the linkages -- the linkage is to a larger network. what we know about a writer ship is that people are willing to ride transit if it guarantees reliability and certainty. the problem with the van ness bus is it is very uncertain. people who would normally -- normally, could take the bus to the opera house or city hall or other places are not going to rely on an unreliable mode of transportation. therefore, they drive, but i honestly believe you will see rare efficiencies, and i think there would be a lot of people willing to take it because they knew that there was 70 in the time, and then that connecting with the underground system that they could actually get to downtown and the like more quickly. it might even be better for some people than doing the express buses